The Social Impact of Aging Population in Japan

The fast-growing population of elderly people has become a serious social dilemma in several countries. While a number of countries have been successful in establishing solutions for this crisis, others have been unlucky. In a nation like Japan for example, there have been considerable economic changes that have led to an increased number of elderly people in over the past five years. This has led to the closure of  big manufacturing plants, an economic slowdown caused by a reduction in total population, as well as prevalent high rates of unemployment. There has been a general concern in Japan among public official, economists, and the public at large about the economic and social repercussions of an aging population. Such concerns have sparked cautious reaction in demographic predictability.

The Japanese population is set to age at a faster pace than any other nation in the whole world. While Japan enjoys one of the highest rates of life expectancy and a status for excellent quality of life for its aged population, the country has failed to address the situation head-on. When weighed against other developed countries, Japan lags behind in terms of programs intended for the elderly, who are either physically disabled, in need of long term care or bedridden. The prevailing economic crisis is intensifying this condition as the government is using the funds set aside for programs aimed for the elderly. This predicament deeply troubles several Japanese who hopes that a solution will be found. The idea of being old and homeless is an intractable problem with a range of causes varying from serious physical or mental health problems that affect the earning potential of an individual, the lack of employability and educational attainment, a varying economy characterized by work transitions and job losses, increased housing costs, increased health insurance and inadequate individual savings.  

At the grassroots level, population aging affects 30 percent of the entire population each year, whereas the prevalence of aged population on the national and state level is between 40 and 50 percent.  During the past 10 years, the situation of having an aging population deteriorated and this may be attributed to the presence of improved dieting and healthcare programs in several nations. The presence of more elderly people has a negative influence on a county’s workforce. So many people would be too old to work, causing reduced revenue to the government. Nevertheless, the government will be obligated to nurture and take care of these elderly people’s medical and health care, implying that the government will have to spend additional money in taking care of the increasing elderly population. A country with a high rate of aging population should come up with new ways of getting revenue such as increasing taxes for  working citizens. On the other hand, such a move to increase taxes might not auger so well with the general public, a situation that might cause fresh problems directly related to the standard of living. Eventually, Japan might just develop into a poor country, requiring foreign assistance (Hood, 2009).

According to the Japanese tradition, it is the duty children to look after of their aging parents. Soon after the end of Second World War, such traditions have changed due to the evolution of different family dynamics and structures. There is no longer the idea of the elder son inhering the family’s fortune, and there has been a prevalence of two-income families. Most of these transformations have left the Japanese wondering on how they can best take care of their aging parents. The existing answers to this predicament appear to be hospitalization. Several families have been hospitalizing their bedridden; physically disable elderly relatives who require long-term care. These people are transferred to various nursing homes. However, due to lack of proper accommodation, as well as having to wait for more than two years to be admitted, the elderly end living with family members who lack the necessary resources required to take of them. Consequently, various cases of elderly abuse and suicide have been reported.    

Presently, there is no public welfare plan in Japan that provides support to the aged population and their relatives. For this reason, the requirement for such arrangement is apparent. Consequently, Japan is on the forefront of creating awareness of how employees, investors, financiers and publicly managed medical and retirement fund strategies should adjust in order to make the best of fast aging population. These different assessment makers have to discover a cost-effective feasible course that the general public and administrations in other aging countries may desire to pursue. Presently, the GDP of Japan is declining. It is at the moment much lower when compared to the way it was in the past three years, mostly due to increased cases of unemployment. Partially, this condition may basically be an indication of temporary shortages in cumulative demand. However, it is likely that continuing financial strengths connected with an aged population are presently at work.

As Japan’s workforce escalation reduces, there is decreased necessity for venture in new machinery. Similarly, as the involvement rates of civic retirement funds increase, less is left of private earnings for saving and venture. As community strategies elongate the operational lives of the aged, the professional prospects for the youth are reduced. The resourcefulness, liveliness and energy that the youth conveys to the place of work might generally vanish or be reduced. The outline of adjustment is extreme, nonetheless, from the financial model of innovative optimization. The job market appears to adjust as economic organizations remain basically as inflexible as they always were, retirement benefit changes are hesitant, and there have been no spectacular efforts to develop the situation of women, for instance. Nevertheless, it appears entirely reliable that with increasing levels of revenue, and on condition that financial and community organizations can preserve their energy towards augmented elasticity and lenience, we as the general public or individuals, will desire to dedicate more consideration to reviving the unexploited opportunities.

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